Silence

When I was cub reporter I
Would interview the Great,
And sometimes they would make reply,
And sometimes hesitate;
But often they would sharply say,
With bushy eyebrows bent:
"Young man, your answer for to-day
Is - No Comment."

Nigh sixty years have called the tune,
And silver is my pate;
No longer do I importune
Important men of state;
But time has made me wise, and so
When button-holed I shake
My head and say: "To-day, I've no
Comment to make."

Oh, silence is a mighty shield,
Verbosity is vain;
let others wordy warfare wield,
From arguments abstain;
When faced with dialectic foes
Just shrug and turn away:
Be sure your wisest words are those
You do not say.

Yea, Silence is a gleaming sword
Whose wounds are hard to heal;
Its quiet stuns the spoken word
More than a thunder peal;
Against it there is no defense,
For like the grave-yard sod
Its hush is Heaven's eloquence,
The VOICE OF GOD.

by Robert William Service

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